Even before the advent of P2E crypto, anti-money laundering experts have flagged the illicit finance risks around online gaming. In 2019, researchers at the Royal United Services Institute, a U.K. think tank focused on international security issues, pointed out that if users can find ways to exchange in-game items (like virtual money, artifacts, tools or clothing) for real-world currency, those items will become attractive for criminals looking to launder illicit funds. But selling game virtual-assets for fiat money used to be difficult. In traditional online games, users had to access unauthorized secondary markets to trade gaming items outside the games’ platforms. These markets are often on the darknet, which requires a special browser like Tor to access. With crypto gaming, the virtual money earnings and the collected items are all created on blockchains and traded relatively freely, often wherever blockchain assets are sold.
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